The men’s basketball team finished up their season looking to go .500 for the first time since 2007, but fell short against Texas A&M Kingsville 83-76.
The starting five looked a little different for the Wildcats Saturday when all five healthy seniors took the floor to start the game for ACU. Steven Werner, Dosh Simms, Trevor Wait, Elliott Lloyd and Eric Lawton walked out to midcourt together for the last opening tip-off of their college careers.
“We had been talking about starting all the seniors,” director of basketball operations Cooper Schmidt said. “We wanted to put Trevor Wait in the game because he has really earned it. It is tough being a walk-on but he shows up everyday and puts work in so he deserved it.”
The Wildcats got off to a slow start in their final game of the season, falling behind by double-digits early and going into halftime down by 16 points.
“They knocked down their open shots,” Schmidt said. “We were trying to slow them down but they hit some tough shots, which kept their momentum going and helped them hit some other shots.”
ACU came out of the locker room looking to cut into the 40-24 Javelinas lead, and shot the ball better in the second half, making nine three-pointers in the final 20 minutes.
Despite the ‘Cats lighting up the scoreboard for 52 points in the second half, they were unable to stop Texas A&M Kingsville from scoring, and the Javelinas finished the game shooting well over 50 percent from the floor.
“They were hitting some tough shots but we were slacking a little on defense,” forward Cornelius Cammock said. “We were not closing out, finding shooters or getting back in transition well enough to stop them.”
Lawton led the Wildcats in scoring with a career-high 27 points and Lloyd poured in 18 points, knocking down 5 three-pointers in the process. Werner had eight points and eight rebounds, and Cammock scored seven points off the bench.
“Overall, we were just happy for Eric because he is such a good kid,” Schmidt said. “He has put in the work all season and every day he gets his shots up, so for him to go out on a game like that was awesome.”
The Wildcats finished the season 12-14 (6-12), a vast improvement from a year ago, leaving the program headed in the right direction as they move into the Southland Conference next season.
“Right now in the offseason we have to grind even harder to get ready for next season,” Cammock said. “We will be playing even tougher competition than we did this year moving up to Division I.”